Mohawk Native, Sauquoit Grad, Rebuilding Communities
“We Build, We Fight” has been the motto of the U. S. Navy’s Construction Force, known as the “Seabees”, for the past 75 years. Mohawk, New York native and Sauquoit High School graduate, Chief Petty Officer Gordon Brewer, builds and fights around the world as a member of a naval construction battalion center located in Port Hueneme, California.
Brewer works as a builder in the Navy.
“As a builder in the Navy I do carpentry and masonry,” said Brewer. “As a chief petty officer, I lead, mentor and train troops. I'm also responsible for training and safety high-risk courses."
The jobs of some of the Seabees today have remained unchanged since World War II, when the Seabees paved the 10,000-mile road to victory for the allies in the Pacific and in Europe, according to Lara Godbille, director of the U. S. Navy Seabee Museum.
“My dad was a Seabee, so this is a family tradition,” said Brewer. "I love being a Seabee because I get to work outdoors building things for other people. There's nothing more rewarding than building a school in a third-world country for someone in need."
For the past 75 years Seabees have served in all American conflicts. They have also supported humanitarian efforts using their construction skills to help communities around the world following earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.
“I am proud of the hard work that Seabees do every day,” said Rear Adm. Bret Muilenburg, commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command. “Their support to the Navy and Marine Corps mission is immeasurable, and we look forward to the next seven decades of service.”
Seabees around the world will take part in a yearlong celebration in 2017 to commemorate the group’s 75-year anniversary. The theme of the celebration is “Built on History, Constructing the Future.”
"Seabees deploy around the world providing expert expeditionary construction support on land and under the sea, for the Navy and Marine Corps, in war, humanitarian crisis and peace," said Capt. Mike Saum, commodore, Naval Construction Group (NCG) 1. "Seabee resiliency, skill, and resolution under hostile and rough conditions prove our motto 'We Build, We Fight.' The Seabee patch we wear on our uniform signifies to the warfighter and civilian alike that they're in good hands."
Serving in the U.S. Navy has allowed Brewer to continue learning about himself and the legacy he wants to leave to future Seabees.
“It's important for us as Seabees to celebrate where we've been, what we're doing today and what we will be doing in the future,” said Brewer.
This story was submitted by Alvin Plexico, Navy Office of Community Outreach